I first got Eleanor when she was roughly 14 months old, and I had been diagnosed around seven months. She has been, for the last 11 years, my constant companion, helper and emotional support.

I strongly recommend anyone with a chronic illness, get a dog. Or I guess, maybe a cat. Or even a guinea pig or hamster.

An animal gives you a reason to get up every morning. Actually, dogs and cats demand you get up every morning. They must be fed and “go potty.”

They are company and let’s face it, I am more likely to be up and active for the sake of Eleanor, than my own.

She also knows when I am emotionally distraught, angry or just feeling tired and down. And she is also capable of retrieving items for me. And while she may be small, she actually waits to see how I am doing on the steps.

She is my helper, a pain in the butt sometimes and my best friend. She will also be riding shotgun on this trip, in her booster seat, harness and her own seat belt, luggage and bed.

I look forward to sharing this trip with her. To plopping her down at the Four Corners so she is in four states at once, to Roswell and Cadillac Stonehenge. I actually can’t think of anyone I’d rather do this with.

And yes, I have human friends, human best friends and good friends, but it is Eleanor who sees me every day. Who sees that which I share with no one else. Mainly because she can’t talk, but anyway.

Someone likened us to Thelma and Louise. Hopefully without the car going overboard.


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